socksMy life got a bit too “useful” to leave time for writing about it.  I am bursting with thoughts and hopeful that I’ll be posting regularly again, maybe even more than once a week. We’ll see.

I finished my Christmas novel, The Language of the Sea, before the end of my New Year visit to my brother and his family, so the first thing we did was visit the bookstore at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on the way home. The store there had one of the three suggestions my personal Bookseller had given me earlier that day. I bought the book, figuring that fate had set it before me without distraction, so how could I refuse?

The Happiness Project doesn’t have a well crafted plot — which I thought I needed for an airplane read — but it does offer the compelling idea that most of us could feel a lot more happiness than we do with a few changes in behavior and mindset. Yes, we all have different happiness set points dictated by our genetic code. No, we don’t have to take off for a round-the-world spiritual journey to move a few points higher on our own personal happiness scale.

Gretchen Rubin read philosophers and researchers to get a sense of what happiness meant to them then set down her own definition before she created a year-long plan to boost her ability to feel the beauty of the life she was already leading. Rubin makes it clear that everyone’s project will be as different as the things that make us happy. Her website offers support and materials to create a project of one’s own.

The idea of a personal happiness project appeals to me, and I’m going to develop one.

Removing clutter from her apartment and her mind was the first element of Rubin’s Happiness Project. I started on that task back in August and will keep at it. My aspirations have changed since I collected a lot of the things that fill my house and office. I’m whittling away the items that are no longer relevant to me and trying to pass them on or recycle them rather than consign them to the landfill. If you’re interested in books about women war correspondents, drop me a note and I’ll send them to you!

Last week I matched my socks and straightened the lingerie bin. Yesterday, I deleted several thousand stored email messages. What little piece of happiness can I uncover today?